Verifying Safeguards

behavioral safety toolbox talksVerifying Safeguards Safety Talk

There are many safeguards that we put into place every single day to ensure that hazards are eliminated or mitigated. Often times another individual may be the one responsible for implementing safeguards for a work task. No matter if you or someone else is responsible for implementing a safeguard, it is important to verify that safeguards are in place prior to beginning work.

Why it is Necessary to Verify

There are many situations where verification is necessary to ensure with absolute certainty that a safeguard is in place prior to beginning a work task. When individuals proceed with their work without verifying the proper steps have been taken to work safely, incidents can occur. Taking the few extra moments to verify a safeguard is in place might make all the difference in preventing a serious injury or property loss incident.

Examples of Verifying Safeguards

  • Pausing before the startup of a machine to verify that everyone is out of the line of fire.
  • Attempting to start up a piece of equipment after locking and tagging it out prior to beginning mechanical work.
  • Doing a radio check with the other workers involved in a critical lift prior to beginning lifting operations.
  • Making radio communication with an operator of heavy equipment to ensure that he waved you on to enter his work area.
  • Going through a checklist of all necessary safeguards prior to beginning a complex work task.


We are human, we make mistakes. It is important to take the time to not only implement the safeguards that need to be in place but also verify that they are indeed in place and functioning correctly. It can be easy to forget to put a certain safeguard in place. It never hurts to double-check your own work or the work of those around you when dealing with the mitigation of hazards.

Discussion point:

  • Provide some examples of verifying that a safeguard is in place.

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